HomeLifestyleArtsPositive mental health is a Pet’s Purpose

Positive mental health is a Pet’s Purpose

Local artists have joined forces to create Pet’s Purpose, a striking set of portraits highlighting the role pets play in their owners' lives and mental health.

Photographer Sabrina Lauriston and digital designer Jolene Watson collaborated on the project funded by the Queensland Mental Health Commission and delivered during Queensland Mental Health Week.

The images were first displayed as a photographic exhibition and then reproduced as a calendar with all funds raised going to the RSPCA and Lifeline.

Sabrina said the project aimed to identify how pets brought people together and could help individuals manage loneliness.

“The original inspiration came from a conversation with Lifeline where people will often identify that the only support they have in their lives is their pet,” Sabrina said.

“They may not have friends or family but their pet keeps them safe from suicide and is a positive influence on their mental health.”

To create the project, Sabrina captured the natural connection between pets and their owners through a series of portraits following which Jolene digitally manipulated the images to create a single persona.

The result was 15 quirky final portraits which were each displayed with a didactic from the pet's point of view as to how they helped their owner with mental wellness.

Examples included:

“I love to comfort my human when they are feeling alone,” Willow.

“I help my human to unwind from stress every time they come home,” Marvin.

Sabrina said the project aimed to start safe and meaningful conversations around mental health and foster a sense of social inclusion, belonging and connection.

“Due to its fun nature albeit on a serious topic, we saw this project as an opportunity to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness,” Sabrina said.

“We produced 60 printed calendars from the exhibition images [and] will be able to donate the proceeds of $720 equally between Lifeline and RSPCA.”

If you or someone you know needs crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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